The Waldo-Hawthorne-Campville-Rochelle Community Remembrance Project, in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative of Montgomery, Alabama, is holding a Soil Collection Ceremony as part of their work for truth and reconciliation regarding the history of racial terrorism and lynching in Alachua County during the Jim Crow era. The Soil Collection Ceremony is on Saturday, February 19, 2022, at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park (at the Caboose, 14705 N.E. Waldo Road, Waldo). This event commemorates the traumatic era by memorializing the lives of Waldo-Hawthorne-Campville-Rochelle victims. The public is encouraged to attend.
The soil of a lynching site is a physical connection to the lives lost there, to the events and people who deserve to be remembered. The soil of every lynching site stood mute witness to egregious wrongs. By publicly gathering, displaying, and creating a space for dialogue around a tangible piece of the past that haunts us still today, that soil will no longer be voiceless.
For each victim, they will ceremonially collect soil that will be displayed in Alachua County, and a second gallon jar will be displayed at the National Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. A representative from Montgomery will be present for the ceremony.